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Fresh from the Farm 

Fresh from the Farm 

A mild, warm climate, and an abundance of family farms with hard—working farmers: This combination means the best, freshest produce can be found in Greater Gainesville year—round at the farmer’s market. 

Agriculture has deep roots here. Outside of the city in almost any direction, locally owned farms and ranches dot the landscape. Watermelon is by far one of the most commonly grown crops in Alachua County, which is no secret among the locals. Residents and out—of—towners alike look forward to Newberry’s Watermelon Festival every year.  

Alachua County is also known for citrus and blueberry production — especially the latter: 


“Florida ranks eighth in the country in terms of blueberry production and has the first U.S.—produced blueberries to reach the domestic market. Most Florida—grown blueberries come from Hendry, Alachua and Putnam counties, as well as a few counties in the Panhandle.” — Florida Farm Bureau 


Beyond the fields, there are also plenty of cattle ranches, family farms with chickens and fresh eggs, apiaries with local honey, more unusual finds like micro greens and goat milk — the list goes on. 


Here is a list of fresh finds for every time of year in GG. 



Something sweet: It would not be Florida without citrus. Many varieties of the tangy fruits can be found at markets from December through spring.  

Something green: Leafy greens are king in the winter months, with everything from lettuce to kale to Brussel sprouts to beets to collards. This is also a good time of year to find broccoli and cauliflower. 



Something sweet: Spring is the time for all the sweet stuff: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, carrots and sweet corn are all in peak season. 

Something green: As the weather warms up, green beans and cucumbers come into season. It is also a last chance to find some of the leafy green and cruciferous winter crops. 



Something sweet: Lots of yummy sweets grow well in the heat. Summer is the height of the season for watermelon and cantaloupe, and sweet peppers can be found as well. 

Something green: Zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, okra and tomatoes thrive in the Florida heat. Peanuts are also grown here and harvest in the summer. In search of something leafy? Herbs like basil, parsley, oregano and thyme are the few greens that can survive the summer. 



Something sweet: Sweets are few and far between this time of year, with the exception of everyone’s fall favorite — pumpkins. Certain types of citrus begin to ripen by October and November.  

Something green: Celery, cabbage and spinach grow well in fall weather, and so do hard squashes such as acorn, butternut and spaghetti. 


Fast Facts

According to the USDA Ag Census, out of the 67 Florida counties, Alachua County agriculture ranks: 

No. 1 — Tobacco 

No. 1 — Pecans (2,400 acres) 

No. 2 — Goats (3,400 head) 

No. 4 — Forage production (20,803 acres) 

No. 4 — Grains, oilseeds, beans, peas (green bean production, 5,000 acres) 

No. 5 — Equine (3,300 head) 

No. 6 — Corn for grain (2,700 acres) 

No. 8 — Colonies of bees (10,589 colonies) 

— Florida Farm Bureau 


Greater Gainesville Farmers Markets 


Alachua County Farmers Market  

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays  

WHERE: N.W. 13th St., Gainesville  

INFO: Call 352—371—8236 or visit    


Downtown Alachua Farmers Market  

WHEN: 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays  

WHERE: Skinner Field Park, 15100 N.W. 142 Terrace, Alachua  

INFO: Visit or email [email protected]  


Grove Street Farmers Market 


WHEN: 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays  

WHERE: 1001 N.W. 4th St., Gainesville  

INFO: Visit or email [email protected]  


Haile Farmers Market  

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays  

WHERE: 5213 S.W. 91st Terrace, Gainesville  

INFO: Visit or email [email protected]  

See Also


High Springs Farmers Market  

WHEN: 3 to 7 p.m. Fridays  

WHERE: Farmers Market Pavilion, 23517 N.W. 185th Road, High Springs  

INFO: Call 352—275—6346 or email [email protected]  


Newberry Farmers Market  

WHEN: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays  

WHERE: 25370 W. Newberry Road, Newberry  

INFO: Call 352—472—2112 or visit 



Late winter to early spring, usually from February to April, strawberries turn a rosy red in North Central Florida fields. Here are a few top spots in Greater Gainesville to hit the farm and pluck them straight off the bush. 


Brown’s Farm 

This family farm has been around for a while — and they have gotten pretty darn good at growing strawberries. Not just strawberries, but all kinds of produce can be found at their produce stand as well. 

Where: 18120 N.E. State Road 26, Hawthorne 


Family Garden Organic & Fair Farm 

Strawberries go au—naturel at Family Garden Organic & Fair Farm, which grows not just organic strawberries but also peaches and summer crops.  

Where: 1655 S.E. 23rd Place, Gainesville 


Red White and Blues Farm 

Gainesville’s most patriotic option for strawberry picking offers “a berry good time for the whole family,” which as humor is far less digestible than the strawberries themselves. That pun is inevitable during strawberry season, but the mass consumption of this farm’s delicious strawberries will help it go down easier. 

Where: 3250 N.E. 140th Ave., Williston 


Roger’s Farm 

Roger’s Farm is owned and operated by fifth—generation farmers. If farm family wisdom was not enough, Roger’s hosts field trips with train rides for kids, a rock wall for climbing and one of those stations where kids can simulate milking a cow. Unfortunately, it does not produce strawberry milk. 

Where: 3831 N.W. 156th Ave., Gainesville 


By Jewell Tomazin 

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